Australian Birds, Australian Wildlife, Wildlife
Comments 8

Tawny Frogmouth

Tawny Frogmouth Podargus strigoidus Karijini National Park Pilbara Western Australia

“Yet something. Something big and aware and hidden! He walked on, had walked a mile or so in the bush, and had just come to a clump of tall, nude, dead trees, shining almost phosphorescent with the moon, when the terror of the bush overcame him.” – D.H. Lawrence, Kangaroo (1923)

While the wet season in the Pilbara can be extremely hot, winter is the most suitable time to visit this beautiful region. We unfortunately experienced unusual high rainfall the week prior to our trip, and during our stay in Karijini National Park a cold and unpleasant easterly desert breeze brought temperatures to near freezing after sunset. For nearly five days, the constant wind was almost the only movement we experienced in and around our camp; no snakes, lizards, or dingoes to be seen, and even the region’s rich avian fauna seemed to be in silent hibernation. As campfires aren’t allowed in the park, water bottles, blankets and early nights were our solace, but not after the routine of a late walk in this silent bush. And this is when on a moonlit night the nocturnal and secretive Tawny Frogmouth (Podargidae strigoides) flew past, perched on a branch of a dead Mulga tree, patiently waited to be photographed before flying off to hunt for whatever we couldn’t see.


    • It does Dries, they’re closely related. Frogmouths are nocturnal indeed, sleeping on tree branches during the day, perfectly silent and camouflaged.

  1. We got lucky and saw a tawny frogmouth sitting in a tree at the Sydney Botanical Gardens. Impressive birds!

    • Thanks Terry! We were lucky this one was really patient, so had some time to figure out the best angle for supporting spotlight

    • Thanks Joe! Tawny’s are awesome indeed, and the photo worked out really well due to some excellent indirect torchlight – credit to my twelve year-old 🙂

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